Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ranch Activities: Horse Basics

Our next activity for the day was Horse Basics. Initially, Horse Basics wasn't in our original activity schedule. Since we had break of almost 2 and a half hours between Fly Fishing and the Backcountry Jeep Tour with a Chuck Wagon Lunch, we went to the Stage Stop the day before and tried to look for an activity to fill up that space. The only two activities that was open was Mountain Biking or Horse Basics, so naturally we chose Horse Basics (for those of you who don't know, I can't ride a bike. Never got around to learning how to cycle when I was a kid :P). We also figured it was a good idea since we will be going for the Scenic Horseback Ride the next day and it will be good to learn some stuff about horses before we go for that ride.

After we got back from the lake, we went to freshen up in our room and headed out to the Activity Barn on the other side of town.

They took us out to the Stables where all the horses are kept during the day. There would usually be more horses here at the stables, but we were told that quite a few of them were out on the Cattle Drive as well as the Scenic Horseback Ride.

We pretty much lucked out on this activity. Apart from us, there was only one another couple (Jill and Sean) who signed up for this time slot. That's great, cos that would mean that we would have more hands on time with the horses! :D We started off with a little intro to horses. She talked about the various types of horses, their mannerism, how they decide on their pecking order, how the horses interact with each other as well as to humans - in short, everything you ever wanted to know about horses.

We then headed over to the other side of the stables and she showed us how to saddle up a horse. That was pretty interesting actually. I never knew that those saddles are realllllllly heavy. I guess you have to be real strong to be a cowboy :P

Next, we were taught the correct way to interact with horses. We must not just walk up to a horse and expect them to know that we are their friend. There are certain ways to show them that we mean no harm. We were also taught to keep our distance away from their legs. Horses are really strong animals and if they were to accidentally kick or step on you, it wouldn't be a pretty sight!

The last part of Horse Basics is a short lesson on grooming. We were taught some basic horse grooming skills, from brushing it's mane to picking out dirt from beneath it's horse shoe. We were also shown various brushes and tools used to groom a horse. Since there were only the four of us and two horses available, we had lots of time to try out our newly acquired horse grooming skills.

Overall, it was a very informative session. I learnt a lot of stuff about horses that day. Too bad we had to rush off to our next activity immediately after the Horse Basics session. I would have loved to hang around the Stables and spend more time with the horses. Our next activity for the day was a Chuck Wagon Lunch followed by the Backcountry Jeep Tour. Stay tuned for the next post!

* Click here to be directed back to the Crazy Mountain Ranch Homepage. You can check out other ranch related posts as well as look at photos from the ranch during our Summer 2009 trip!

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